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"A Man's Perspective," Nick H. July 9, Men, Women, Marriage And Sex


I have just read your piece about women not wanting sex…..Well I’m on the receiving end of this as a man. However to add insult-to-injury I found out that my wife had been having an affair.

Before you jump to conclusions, the lack of sex has been going on for several years, but according to my wife (and I believe her) throughout the six months she was having her affair – she only had sex with the 3rd party twice. The affair has now ended and we are trying to rebuild our marriage (we’ve been together 14 years and married 6). The sex situation is still the same between us – in fact it’s worse – non existent!! She wants all the comforting hugs and little kisses – but that is about as much as I get.

I was interested in reading some other peoples ideas why this happens, kids, stress, being taken for granted – but what about us men. I pay ALL the household bills, cook every meal, assist with the house cleaning etc etc. How do your thoughts work on this scenario – I’d be very interested to know.

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Most marriage therapists take the view that when a partner in an intimate relationship has an affair they are expressing unhappiness with the relationship by bringing in a third party. This has happened with your wife and, the fact that the interruption in your intimate relationship continues, indicates that something is seriously wrong.

I have no way of knowing what types of problems you and your wife are coping with to cause her to stop having sex with you and have an affair but we can explore some possibilities:

1. Perhaps your wife believes that you do not show her any warm and romantic attentions such as leaving her a romantic card, taking her out for a romantic dinner, commenting about how beautiful she looks, calling her at work to tell her you love her, etc.

2. She may have complaints about the way the two of you make love. Many wives complain that their husbands just want to "jump on them," have intercourse and get it over with. Or, they complain that their husbands do not try to "get them in the mood," through being romantic and by taking lots of time in foreplay.

3. Anger is a turn off for most men and women so that, in an atmosphere of anger no one feels much like making love.

4. In my experience, when a couple tells me, in marriage therapy, that they never argue, they also rarely make love. The lack of passion stretches from anger to sex.

Nick, this is not anywhere near a complete list but just a few possibilities.

My suggestion and my advice is that the two of you go into marriage therapy with an experienced psychologist or social licensed clinical social worker who are expert in treating marriages and start working on your relationship. There is something wrong in the marriage and your wife is trying to let you know that through the affair and the lack of sex. She may not know how to express it any other way.

Therapy can help the two of you identify the problems and learn how to solve them in ways that are a lot healthier than what is happening now.

I can assure you, Nick, that after thirty years of experience in working with intimate couples in psychotherapy that, when there are marital problems, the cause of those problems are 50/50. I hear your complaint about paying all the bills and wanting to make love. But, you are each doing things that are getting in the way of happiness.

Good Luck

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